Routine Maintenance

14. 04. 26
Last Updated: 26 March 2015

We Are Keeping Our Cars Longer

 
 
It is a fact we are keeping our cars longer and new car sales are down. For this reason I would like to give you some helpful hints that will keep your current vehicles on the road and reliable. The number one and most important is maintenance. The definition of the word maintenance is: continuing repair work, work that is done regularly to keep a machine, building, or piece of equipment in good condition and working order. The definition of the word itself is self explanatory!
AIS Oil change  
Lets talk about fluids, every vehicle has them and they become contaminated over time and need to be replaced. To list a few: engine oil, transmission fluid, differential fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, freon, antifreeze are the more common. The intervals for replacement vary based on manufacture recommendations. These recommendations can be found in your owners manual or contact us and we can supply that data. The fluids degrade due to use and age over time. As this happens they lose their ability to perform and protect vital mechanical parts. 
  
Now lets talk about parts, they wear out over time and use, even when they are properly maintained. The advantage of maintaining them is they will last longer. A part failure that continues to be let go and not repaired will effect other parts. A good example would be a worn part that causes vibration in the vehicle. This vibration is shaking other components and causing them to wear. Before you know it one part needing replaced turns into several parts needing replaced. Minimize the cost of repairs by performing maintenance or a regular basis. 
         
 
Jim Carpenter, Owner

Check Engine Light

14. 03. 19
Last Updated: 30 June 2014

Check Engine Light

The check engine light, one of several warning lights that can illuminate on you cars dash board. This light is a warning that the engine is not operating at full capacity and the emissions system is not meeting Government requirements. In many cases the vehicle may run fine, yet the light is on. The light indicates that one of many systems is malfunctioning. On the other hand the engine may run rough when the light comes on and this indicates that the engine is misfiring. When this occurs the check engine light may flash on and off. This is a warning that the vehicle needs to be shut down or more severe damage to the emission system and engine will occur. Regardless, the vehicle needs to be repaired to proper working order. Letting it go and not repairing it will only compound the problem and lead to further damage to other systems. Think of it as if it were a football team, if one play is not up to par the whole team is affected. 

 

The Automobile Engine

14. 03. 05
Last Updated: 26 March 2015

Car Engine Service and RepairThe automobile engine or motor is another term used to describe this component that creates the power that makes your vehicle move. The power is produced by exploding gasoline under compression in a closed chamber. Typically there are 4 - 8 of these chambers and that is where the term four and six cylinder comes from.

The engine is made up of several components and many of them rely on engine oil for lubrication. You have all been taught that you need to change the oil on a regular schedule, based on miles driven or the age of the oil. The oil becomes contaminated over time and looses its effectiveness to lubricate the internal moving parts of the engine. In order to maximize the life of this very important component of your vehicle you should maintain the scheduled maintenance. For more information on the frequency of the oil change, feel free to ask myself or one of my technicians. 

Jim Carpenter, Owner

 

The cost of operating a motor vehicle

14. 02. 10
Last Updated: 21 May 2014

Lets face it, we all rely on our car to transport us to our desired locations. Like everything else in our daily life’s it comes at a cost. Lets take a brand new car for an example, it comes with a monthly payment, insurance, maintenance cost, and fuel cost. Add all that up and the cost of operating an new car can be quite costly. The advantages to operating a new car are: Bumper to bumper coverage for at least the first three years or 36,000 miles, low maintenance cost during that period, and maximum fuel mileage. When the new car warranty expires the payments on the vehicle usually continue and the maintenance requirements increase due to the mileage. By the time the new car is paid off it is no longer new, but it is paid for.

So, the monthly payment disappears and that is a big relief. Now starts the depreciation due to age and mileage. The value of the vehicle goes down each year and the cost of keeping it in good mechanical condition starts to climb. Now you ask yourself, do I want to start over with a car payment or get the maximum life span out this one. In most cases you know the history of your current vehicle and you have become accustom to it. So, why not drive it for a few more years at a more cost effective rate. In almost all cases the upkeep seems like a bottomless pit and you become concerned as to rather or not the car is worth it. A decision that only you can make! I would like to extend to you a professional opinion based on the current condition of the vehicle, as to rather or not to continue investing money in it.

Jim Carpenter, Owner

 

 

Facts about the Auto Repair Industry

14. 01. 09
Last Updated: 21 May 2014

What am I paying for when I have my vehicle serviced?

 

As a consumer you look at the end result of a visit to the auto repair shop and  the cost of that service.  The idea of spending money to fix a car is probably the last thing you want to do.  When you hear the service provider tell you that it's going to cost several hundred dollars to correct the problem, it may not sit well with you.  You may be concerned as to why is it so expensive to fix your car.  Let me talk a little bit about what the expense entails.  

 

Vehicles today are highly technical and loaded with computer controlled systems that require competent maintenance and diagnostic technicians.  To meet the increased competitive salaries, due to a shortage of technicians, we must provide a competitive compensation package.  This  requires a  competitive pay scale including state and federal taxes, that are over and above the basic hourly wage of the technician.

 

The technician and the shop have thousands of dollars in tools and equipment to meet the increased high technology requirements to service your vehicle.  Comprehensive diagnostic equipment, on-going computer equipment with continuous software upgrades and vehicle technical information and internet subscriptions.  It's an on-going process of modernizing the shop facilities in order to hold all the high-tech equipment required today to service a modern vehicle.  An on going training program is necessary to serve you efficiently and professionally.  

 

The upkeep of the facility to provide a safe work environment for our staff, including proper air ex-changers to eliminate poisonous fumes, effective shop lighting and proper climate control.  Ensure all environmental policies for disposal of shop material are adhered to.  The utilities necessary to keep the facility operational.  General maintenance of the grounds and the buildings.  

 

The auto repair  industry is very complex and the consumer must rely on the information given to them by the service provider to make an informed decision.  A  highly skilled technician using  the latest testing equipment and data programs can make  a conclusive resolve to the customer concerns,  in a timely fashion.  To answer the question above “What am I paying for when I have my vehicle serviced”:  Skilled labor, state of the art diagnostic tools, internet data programs, continuous training, and professional staff.   

 

The choice is yours as to who you select to perform the service on your vehicle.  Trust plays a huge part in this decision and that trust has to be earned by the provider.   A recommendation by a friend will ease the process, but the final conclusion is yours.  Unfortunately, cost may be the deciding factor on who you have do your service.  If this is the case take into consideration some of the things listed in this article.   

 

Jim Carpenter, Owner 

Auto Inspection Service